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State weakness in perspective: Trans-territorial energy networks in Georgia, 1993-2003.

Closson, Stacy Renee (2007) State weakness in perspective: Trans-territorial energy networks in Georgia, 1993-2003. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is concerned with the persistent weakness of the post-Soviet states and it examines the implications of state weakness for inter-state relations. Applying concepts from the trans-national and globalisation literatures, this thesis determines that it is in the synergy between global and local forces, state and non-state actors, and informal and formal economies where the dynamics affecting the post-Soviet state are located. The weak state is reconceptualised as an arena for the operations of stakeholders locked in a struggle for resources. The principles of network analysis are used to develop a political network model of socio-economic relations in a weak state. The network model is used to assess the role and implications of the trans-territorial networks operating in Georgia's energy sector. Numerous examples illustrate how the monopolisation of transactions by networks was a major contributing factor in the decline of Georgia, deterring it from engaging in collaborative arrangements to rectify weakness. The decline of the state occurred despite the fact that Georgia's geo-strategic location along a lucrative hydrocarbon transit corridor meant that it received significant levels of foreign assistance and investment. Empirically, the network model offers a different analytical lens, through which it is clear that a weak state's inter-state relations are best viewed within the dynamics of trans-territorial networks. Theoretically, the reordering of state-societal relations within the networks, as well as the interdependence of these networks with external actors, exposes a complex web of relations that disperses authority and legitimacy across a spectrum of entities. While not contesting the juridical sovereignty of a state, this thesis argues that a weak state's domestic sovereignty is neither a given ontological entity, nor is it located within the traditional polis, but it is rather simulated by various stakeholders traversing the state.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Energy
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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